Airballing the game winning attempt is not what you dream about growing up. But it's these tough lessons that will make you, make Jeremy, a better player down the road. Yes, Jeremy choked on an open jumper to win it. I'm glad he didn't hesitate, dribble in and take a contested shot, or wait and pass it back to Harden. You make it, you're the hero, you miss it, you're the goat. I know it's hard for many of us to swallow, especially as we've been spoiled by Linsanity, but lets put this in perspective.
Here are the 3 point percentages of some of the all time greats in the beginning of their careers:
First 5 years, first 13,442 minutes:
First year, first 3,122 minutes:
It seemed like it took years before Lebron could make a clutch outside shot.
First 6 years, first 13,425 minutes
Kobe tossed up a bunch of airballs during his early playoff career
First year, first 2,668 minutes:
Here is what Jeremy has done in much less minutes played:
3 years, first 1,467 minutes
Oh yeah, and James Harden is shooting 25.6% compared to Jeremy's 30.8% through 7 games.
Now, this is not an excuse but just a reality check for those who think that he now a scrub because he airballed a shot. Yes, he is definitely not in the flow with this offense. I don't understand why he is not initiating the offense more. You could still have Harden come off a down screen to receive the entry pass to initiate the offense. But at least you put it in your best passers hands every time down. Also, he needs to get the outlet and bring the ball up 80-90% of the time. How many great half court passes has he made for easy early offense layups? How many has Harden? Putting the ball in Harden's hands to initiate has just killed his own efficiency as well.
However, I still think it is really up to Jeremy to step up and take control of this offense. He needs to show, by consistent strong play, that he should be running the show. I just don't think he has really found his mojo yet. He doesn't seem to be having much fun and everything really seems to be a struggle. It's still so early, but with JLin, everything is put under a microscope and it seems like he is feeling the pressure.